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Orvakal fullmoon fest begins

Orvakal fullmoon fest begins
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The three-day Punnami full moon festival began on a grand note at Orvakal in the district on Friday. Chief executive officer of AP Tourism Authority, Andhra Pradesh, Himanshu Shukla, who was the chief guest at the inaugural function, said the first ever fullmoon festivals being organised at Orvakal was one of the best kept secrets of the state of Andhra Pradesh. 

Kurnool: The three-day Punnami full moon festival began on a grand note at Orvakal in the district on Friday. Chief executive officer of AP Tourism Authority, Andhra Pradesh, Himanshu Shukla, who was the chief guest at the inaugural function, said the first ever fullmoon festivals being organised at Orvakal was one of the best kept secrets of the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh Tourism has explored many venues across the state and these 3oo crore-year-old rock formations are the ideal weekend getaway for tourists from Hyderabad and Bengaluru and visitors to Kurnool and its surrounding areas.

The festival is taking place in vast stretch of 200 acre government land, said Himanshu Shukla. “The AP Tourism welcomes people to be a part of this great and spectacular festival being held in a place that stood testimony for 3 billion years. It will be a never before experience for the select few participants,” he added.

He said an air-conditioned, well-furnished tented accommodation with all modern comforts had been provided to visitors. “We have procured 100 tents from the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, the ones used in the Rann Utsav," he said and added that nearly 30 tents had already been booked.

AP Tourism regional director G Gopal said that AP attracts 20 lakh tourists every year contributing 10 per cent of state’s GSDP, slightly above the national average of 7 per cent. “AP Tourism has attracted investments in terms of MoUs worth Rs 8,000 crore. To make the Tourism Policy more attractive and competitive, the government is contemplating to announce additional incentives,” he added.

The projects under these MoUs include star hotels, resorts, adventure activities, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) centres, heritage hotels, museums, heli tourism and jungle resorts under PPP mode.

According to Gopal, 27 tourism projects were on the way for implementations. He said. The regional director said tourism policy would be changed soon to make it more competitive and attractive. In terms of promoting tourism, he said the state government had divided the state into 5 hubs, i.e. Vizag, Konaseema, Vijayawada, Tirupati and Anantapur.

Gopal said Orvakal is surrounded by many centres of tourist attractions like Ketavaram, Belum Caves, Gandikota. Ahobilam, Mantrayalam and Mahanandi. Visitors can have a good time visiting these places besides the festival.

Stating that the festival would be an annual affair, the AP tourism regional director said based on the footfall and response, they plan to make it a monthly event also. The authorities are expecting nearly 10,000 to 15000 visitors to the fullmoon festival.

"The Fullmoon festival is celebrated across the world. We wanted a weekend to coincide with the fullmoon. Fortunately, the timing of the local festival Eruvaka Poornima also added significance to the event. We are confident that the importance of this place will grab public attention," said A Balram and Santosh, directors of Violet Worldwide, who is managing the entire event on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism.

The organisers have lined up live performances by Shobana, one of the most sought after actresses and dancers; Revanth, Indian Idol winner, and several other singers.

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